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Pine Tip Moth

Pine tip moth larvae

Pine tip moth damage

About Pine Tip Moth

Lives on ponderosa, Austrian, Scotch, and jack pines.  Larvae vary from yellowish-white to pink to reddish-orange, with dark heads.  Mature southwestern pine tip moth larvae are 12 to 15 mm long.  Coloration and wingspan of the moths varies with the species; however, most are a mottled reddish-brown and gray.

They overwinter as pupae in the ground.  Moths appear during spring and females lay eggs on new growth.  They usually have only one generation per year.

Larvae mine needles, bud, and new shoots, killing shoots and stunting tree growth.  Old infested tips crumble when squeezed.  Shoots infested generally turn brown.

To Control

Spray acephate or dimethoate on foliage in spring when new shoots are elongating but before needles are more than 13 mm long.  Repeat in late June or early July.  Insecticide application should be timed to coincide with the appearance of young larvae.  Synthetic attractants of the male pine tip moths are available commercially and can be used to monitor adult flight periods.  Trees should be sprayed 10 to 14 days after moth flight begins.

CSU Fact Sheet http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/insect/05529.html